Happy to have you back on board on my search for the shot that make you win games! On a more general note, I like to prove to all non-believers to which practical insights analytics can lead.
Independent of playing style, alignment, playbook, … we identified the corner three as the shot location that separate winning from losing teams!
👉 👉 HERE you can grab back to all the details of my previous piece.
But it’s not enough to take shots from the corner. That would be too simple, right? Above all, it’s about how efficient you score them (*)!
This past Euroleague season, Real Madrid paved the way. They translated the 2nd best usage of the corner three into the 2nd best eFG% of the league. While Real is only ranked 7th in overall 3pt percentage. It means there’s more to it than shoot well from behind the arc. Let’s have a closer look 🧐 to how they did it.
In 28 games, Real combined for 162 corner three attempts. I analysed all of them. Over and over again.
To see how many were assisted? Where the pass was coming from? How efficient were the corner shots in transition or after an offensive rebound? With or without any extra screens to create the shot? …
What if I told you I can exactly define the 64 corner threes they scored at a rate of 64% (while shooting all other corner threes at 32%)?
Catch and shoot threes from the corner where the assist (or hockey assist (**)!) came from within the paint.
Let’s call them Paint Assisted Corner Threes. Madrid scored them at twice the percentage (!) of all other corner shots!
It all makes sense when you reflect further about it. The location of this shot is no coincidence. Using the corners is a proof of geometrically maximizing the the spacing in your offense. Furthermore, it is generally known that catch-and-shoot attempts are the easiest shots. By making the pass from the paint, the defense is in a shrinked situation, making the close-out longer. The longer the close-out, the less contested these shots are. For this reason, the concept of “paint touches” is a highly valued number by coaches that are into analytics.
In short, one could say that these Paint Assisted Corner Threes are a perfect combo of paint touches and an optimal spacing in your offense.
Enough about the numbers 🤓🤯! These analytics are only an extra weapon in your toolbox if you know how to translate them on the court. In my next article I will share 5 ways (with video 🎥 breakdowns!) on how to implement these Paint Assisted Corner Threes systematically in your offense!
(*) More specificly, we identified “C3M/FGA”, the number of corner threes made over the total number of field goals”, as the key to a high eFG%. For this past Euroleague season, our conclusion phrased as simple as possible: “Teams that score at least 3 corner threes for every 100 FG’s, combine for an eFG% of at least 55%. While most of the other teams below that treshold struggle with their eFG%”.
(**) A hockey assist or secondary assist is the pass that leads to the assist to the corner (no dribble).